Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was banned for life from the Olympic Games this month over doping, said on Wednesday that he is stepping down as chairman of the 2018 World Cup organising committee. Mutko “(Organising committee director Alexei) Sorokin will be the chairman,” Mutko was quoted by Russian agencies as saying, two days after suspending his role as president of the Russian Football Union.
“He will interact with FIFA. I will concentrate on work in the government,” he said. Mutko on Monday announced that he plans to file a claim in the Court of Arbitration for Sport to contest his Olympic ban, and would suspend his duties in the RFU for the duration of the proceedings. He added at the time that he would continue his role as chief coordinator of preparations for the World Cup Russia will host next summer until Russian leadership decides otherwise.
On Wednesday he said his claim has been filed in the CAS. Mutko was banned for life from the Olympic Games on December 5 after the International Olympic Committee said he was involved in a state-backed doping programme. The 59-year-old had until this week retained his posts in Russia throughout the doping scandal, even receiving a promotion from sports minister. He maintains that Russian athletes were clean at the 2014 Olympic Games.
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